The Senate Committee on Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) has queried the diversion of funds meant for the agency in the template of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA).
The committee Chairman, Senator Magnus Abe, speaking during the defence of the agency’s 2018 budget estimate, said the funds, which are backed by law, were not released.
He expressed the readiness of the Senate to conduct a holistic investigation into the matter and lamented that the operations of FERMA has been largely hampered by a lack of funds.
“The agency (FERMA) has only received the fund once since the law was made years ago. The funding of federal roads was taken into consideration when this fuel price was agreed upon. The money is collected from Nigerians, every institution that is supposed to benefit gets its own share, except FERMA. Who is taking the money?” he queried.
“We are going to seek clear mandate to investigate what has happened to the fund. This is not the question of taxation but the money that has been collected that would end in an unknown destination. We will use legislative means to find out how this money is being collected and who collected it,” Abe added.
The Acting Managing Director of FERMA, Mr. Nurudeen Rafindadi, in his presentation, disclosed that at least N15 billion is being owed to contractors by the agency.
He added the agency is also being hindered from initiating fresh projects due to its debt burden.
“FERMA’s debt profile is huge and there will be need to settle outstanding debts in order to encourage contractors back to site,” he added
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